(FreedomBeacon.com)- Under the cover of the crisis in Ukraine, Biden administration officials are still trying to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
Those involved in the ongoing negotiations in Vienna have indicated a final deal could be reached soon. But rather than the new stronger agreement initially promised, it is looking as though the final deal will do little more than reinstate the original JCPOA deal made during the Obama presidency, of which the key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity are set to expire in 2025.
But that might be the best the Biden administration can hope for given the current crisis in Ukraine, the ongoing challenges with China, and the economic problems at home.
Israel, however, is growing concerned that the deal ultimately reached will not prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently warned that the deal emerging out of Vienna will likely make the Middle East more volatile and violent.
For Iran, the goal is sanctions relief. Tehran has insisted on the complete lifting of all US sanctions imposed during the Trump administration. But that isn’t something Biden can do on his own.
Under a 2015 law, any new agreement offering sanctions relief to Iran would require congressional approval. This is why the Biden administration has signaled its plan to simply “re-enter” the 2015 JCPOA.
And while that plan would avert a battle with Congress, it means that key aspects of the original deal, such as limits on uranium enrichment, would expire in just three years.
But that’s good enough for this administration. Much like the Obama White House, the Biden administration would rather get a flawed deal than no deal at all.
Meanwhile, Tehran has indicated that it would be willing to return to the JCPOA so long as it receives access to $7 billion in frozen assets and can export its oil unhindered.
The International Crisis Group, an organization once headed by the top US negotiator, has said that success in Vienna “hinges on the political willingness” in the United States and Iran “to accept compromises on remaining areas of disagreement, which is by no means assured.”